Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson making new Beatles ‘Let it Be’ documentary
There's already been one documentary about the making of The Beatles' Let it Be, but there's soon to be a new one, pulled from 55 hours of unseen footage and 140 hours of audio, that will be directed by Peter Jackson who made the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. "This movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamed about," says Jackson in a statement. "It’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together."
Originally intended to be a television special about The Beatles making their new album, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg filmed the band in the studio from January 2 - January 31, 1969. The album underwent a now infamous gestation, with Phil Spector being brought in and adding, controversially, strings and backing vocals. (In 2003, Paul McCartney spearheaded the release of Let It Be... Naked, which omitted most of Spector's contributions.) The album didn't actually come out till May of 1970, a month after The Beatles broke up. The documentary came out at almost the same time, showing a group in fracture, but Jackson says the unseen footage tells a different story. "I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth," Jackson says. "After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure-trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate. I’m thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage – making the movie will be a sheer joy." The film is being made with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison.
This news comes on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' famed rooftop concert atop Apple Records' London offices, which was shot for Let it Be. (Watch that below.) No release date yet, but a restored version of the original Let it Be film will be released following Jackson's documentary.
This is not Jackson's first documentary -- his acclaimed and technologically groundbreaking WWI documentary They Shall Not Grow Old is in theaters this Friday (2/1) and you can watch a trailer for it below.